Thursday, July 17, 2008

The best military recruiting commercial EVER.

Sure, yeah, I'm an Army veteran, and extremely proud of it. But if you're a regular reader you'll know that I spread the love around to veterans of all of my sister services, and that I do have a bit of a soft spot for the United States Marine Corps.

My oldest friend from high school, Chris Cunningham, is a former Marine. We used to hang out in the local Marine recruiting office when we were kids so often that once we came of enlistment age we were more or less told to shit or get off the pot.....Chris enlisted, along with our buddy Mike Dunham, and I joined the Army, on the heels of our other buddies Marshall Morris and Mike Ramsey. Every November 10th, I send Chris a birthday message of some sorts to commemorate the birthday of the USMC. Last year I even sent out a Marine Birthday blog to all the Devil Dogs in the Blogosphere.

This commercial is so stirring that I can't watch it without getting a chill, or watery eyes. It shows the famous Silent Drill Platoon performing portions of their sequential close-order rifle drills at various locations across the country in what comes out to represent a solid line across America from coast to coast. They start at sunrise by a New England lighthouse, go through Times Square, down Main Street USA in a small Midwest town, at the arch in St. Louis, through a farm field, across a vast open prairie in front of the Rocky Mountains, across the rim of the Grand Canyon, over the top of Hoover Dam, and ending up at the water’s edge at the end of the day in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. In the span of a few seconds, they represent our nation from sea to shining sea.

It’s a stirring sight, these ramrod straight warriors in their dress blue jackets and white pants, sequentially spinning polished M-1 Garand rifles with fixed bayonets in perfect time. If you’ve never seen the Silent Drill Platoon, you are truly missing out on perhaps the finest ceremonial/demonstration team the United States military has to offer.

The United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon is a 24-man rifle platoon that performs without any verbal commands. All you hear is the slap of their hands on the rifles. The routine concludes with a unique rifle inspection sequence demonstrating elaborate rifle spins and tosses.

These Marines are individually selected from the Schools of Infantry located in Camp Pendleton, CA and Camp Lejune, NC from interviews conducted by Barracks personnel. Once selected, Marines are assigned to Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. to serve a 2-year ceremonial tour. Beyond their ceremonial duties, the Marines collaterally train in the field as infantrymen. Throughout the year, these Marines hone their infantry skills at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, VA and other bases.

Experienced members of the Silent Drill Platoon have the opportunity to audition to become Rifle Inspectors. They must go through inspection tryouts graded by the Rifle Inspectors of the previous year. Only two Marines per year are selected to become Rifle Inspectors. They, along with the Platoon Drill Master, are entrusted with keeping and passing on the unique knowledge and traditions of the Silent Drill Platoon.

Take a look at the commercial and see if it doesn’t give you chills.

1 comment:

Randy said...

Impressive video. Another one is when you see the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels. I'm partial to the Air Force (father and 2 brothers) and Army (step-son and son-in-law), but all of these are good.

Last year or so, every time I see a soldier in an airport, I go up and tell them that I personally want to thank them for their service. It's the least I can do.